Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pentagon recipe for brownies

From Katherine Mangu-Ward in Reason with a hat tip from her to CEI's Ryan Young...

The Pentagon's brownie recipe is 26 pages long. Just grab a copy of document MIL-C-44072C and gather your ingredients: water that conforms to the "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (Copies are available from the Office of Drinking Water, Environmental Protection Agency, WH550D, 401 M Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20460)," and some eggs in compliance with "Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs and Egg Products (7 CFR Part 59)," and you're ready to go!

3.3.2 Brownie preparation. (NOTE: The contractor is not required to follow the exact procedure shown below provided that the brownies conform to all finished product requirements in 3.4.)
a. Whip eggs in large bowl on high speed until light and fluffy....

3.3.3 Brownie cutting. The brownies shall be cut to the appropriate size when cool (see 3.4f).

Wondering about adding walnuts? Simply consult section from the "30 April 1990 SUPERSEDING MIL-C-44072B 9 December 1987 W/CHANGE 12 February 2003 MILITARY SPECIFICATION COOKIES, OATMEAL; AND BROWNIES; COCOLATE [sic] COVERED."

These rules are for brownies destined for MREs, so it makes sense that Department of Defense wants to make sure...But any sympathy I might have had for the whole brownie specs enterprise dissolved when I got to section, "Ingredient and component examination," which included this gem:

If necessary, each ingredient shall be examined organoleptically.

Sound like some kind of fancy scientific process, right?...[but it simply] means tasting, smelling, or looking at something. It's not clear whether you're allowed to decide if a batch of walnuts are OK by nibbling on a few before or after passing you pass them though a "2/16-inch diameter round hole screen" and coat them with "approved food grade antioxidant." All that and yet they can't spell chocolate or reduce fractions?

To answer the obvious question: No, there are no standards for the production of "special brownies."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home